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Lloyd’s of London CEO says 92 percent of European businesses have experienced cyber breaches

Cyber security
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A "staggering" number of businesses have suffered from poor cybersecurity, according to the CEO of the world's oldest insurance market.

Recent Lloyd's of London data revealed that 92 percent of businesses asked had experienced a breach, Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd's, told CNBC's Squawk Box.

"Apart from businesses in the U.S., there is not a lot of take up of cyber insurance," Beale detailed, despite the problem "affecting almost every single business because of technology these days."

Beale explained that successfully dealing with the threat was "not about building walls to prevent an attack," but also "what you do to mitigate any disaster." Having contingency measures in place are essential, Beale argued, as businesses can "limit an attack, but can't necessarily eliminate the chance of an attack."


With regards to the cost of insurance premiums, "reputational damage is usually the thing that's most difficult to quantify," Beale added. But, she said that by taking out cyber insurance, firms can essentially "limit (their) share price reduction by the action (they) take." Responding appropriately to an attack includes liaising with PR companies and crisis management firms, Beale said.

Beale asserted that Lloyd's of London considered itself global market leader in the cyber insurance space, with 20-25 percent of market share. Evaluating "new risks" was the "essence" of the company, despite the question marks which may remain over data which may inform their new remit of cyber insurance.

Beale also discussed how her historically London-based company was dealing with Brexit, explaining that "we are looking at various different countries and their regimes to relocate some people into the EU."

While Beale qualified the relocation strategy by saying that "11 percent of our business comes from the EU, excluding the UK," she did add that just under five percent of total revenues would be directly impacted by Brexit.

The company's key means of managing its position while the U.K. leaves the European Union was being "pro-active in terms of making plans."

Despite the proposed relocation of some of the business, Beale mitigated any suggestion that the traditionally London-based Lloyd's would substantially move away from the U.K., confirming that "well over 90 percent of the businesses that Lloyds writes, we'll still be able to from London."

"For sure, Brexit is going to cost us some more money," Beale acknowledged, adding that the company had managed the change by making cuts around its innovation and future investment arms.

Beale said that foreign insurers – such as the Japanese firms that form just under 17 percent of Lloyd's market – would not leave due to the company's foresight to form "robust" coping mechanisms. But, she added that "part of the reason they wanted to come into Lloyd's was the licensing that we have all over the world, which includes those 27 EU countries."

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